Ever had to go through the rigmarole of exchanging bank details to send or receive a payment to your friends? That could soon be a thing of the past, as Google just introduced a new command to Google Assistant on Android and iOS devices that allows users to send or request money from friends or family.
The system works in tandem with the recently renamed Google Pay app, and is completely free to use. To send someone money, make sure your Google Assistant is set up and ready to go, and say “OK Google, send Simon $20 for the tickets,” or “OK Google, request $15 from Andy for lunch today” to request money. If you haven’t set up your Google Pay account, then you’ll be walked through the setup process the first time you use the command.
Your recipient will receive the request via text message, email, or Google Pay app notification, and they won’t need a Google Pay account to complete the transaction. The funds will be transferred to the target account instantly, just what you need when you need to pay a friend quickly for cinema tickets, or those cocktails you splashed out on together last night.
The update should be available from now for most U.S. users of Google Assistant on iOS and Android — so make sure that your app is fully updated before attempting to use it. Google has promised that an update will be rolling out over the coming months for voice-activated speakers.
This is the latest in a long line of updates for Google’s Assistant app as Google attempts to make the Assistant your first stop for information, and the easiest way to complete simple tasks. We recently saw the Assistant come to iOS tablets, and Google is working hard to bind the Assistant’s software even closer to manufacturer’s hardware. It’s also brought the Assistant to hundreds of different languages, with plans to introduce it to 30 more by the end of this year — with Google hoping to cover 95 percent of all Android users.
While voice-activated payment will surely ruffle some feathers in terms of security, having the ability to quickly and easily pay friends and family for the little payments in life should be a tempting ability for many people — and will hopefully save a few personal relationships along the way.